February 2 begins an “icon workshop retreat” in the Monastery of the Soledad here in San Miguel Allende, Mexico using this image of Jonah and the Whale (fish) . “egg tempera” Should prove to be peaceful “icon painting ” we have 16 in the group. Hope the monks have enough beds.
The image is not a common icon for a workshop but lately many of us feel we have been thrown off a ship, or spit up on shore, or frustrated that God took the shade away. Jonah’s was not an easy life.
Everyone at one point or another has been misunderstood, lost wondering what God wants or something less abstract, wondering what your husband wants, what does the man at the grocery want? So many of us are bombarded daily with new environments, like moving when you do not want to, having to learn computer stuff when you don’t want to, being sent to talk to someone you don’t want to.
The bottom line with the Jonah story is “want to”.
Read the two page story in the bible for yourself,
Jonah Flees From the Lord
“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”But Jonah ran away from the Lord went aboard a ship and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.
A great fish came a swallowed Jonah and after 3 days, spit him out onto shore. So finally,Jonah obeyed and went to Nineveh proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” The Ninevites believed and began to repent and fast and all of them, from the greatest to the least,they all put on sackcloth.
God relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
Jonah’s Anger at the Lord’s Compassion
But the Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
A leafy plant grew over his head to shade him and ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy. But at dawn the next day a worm chewed the plant so that it withered. When the sun rose and blazed on Jonah’s head so that he grew faint.
He wanted to die, and said, “It would be better for me to die than to live.” God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” “It is,” he said. “And I’m so angry.”
The Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
“icon painting techniques” “iconography class in Mexico”